Staff for Summer 2019 is continually being updated!

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Ben Kessler, Director of NSD Public Forum

Ben Kessler debated for Stuyvesant High School and earned 15 bids to the Tournament of Champions, where he semifinaled. Ben also championed the Blake Tournament, the George Mason Invitational, the Columbia Invitational, and the NCFL Grandnational Championship. Since graduating, Ben has coached teams from Hunter High School in New York. In 3 years, his teams have cumulatively amassed 27 bids to the Tournament of Champions, where 2 of his teams have advanced to the octafinal round. His teams have also championed the New York City Invitational, Columbia Invitational, Princeton Invitational, and Villiger Invitational, been invited to the Harvard Round Robin 5 times, and been ranked in the top 10 in the country every year he’s coached.

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Zach Ginsberg

Zachary Ginsberg debated for four years at Stuyvesant High School, serving as the president of the team in his senior year. He earned a total of 13 bids to the Tournament of Champions and finished his senior year ranked 1st in the nation. Zach reached semifinals or further at Blake, GMU, Ridge, Bronx, Scarsdale, Glenbrooks, and Princeton and was a top 5 speaker at Bronx, Harvard, and Columbia. Zach now attends Columbia University, where he has stayed involved in PF by coaching. This is Zach’s 3rd straight summer teaching at NSD!


Anson Fung

Anson Fung is a graduate of Rice University and has been a Strake Jesuit debate coach for the past four years. During those years, Anson has coached 27 Gold TOC bids and many, many Silver TOC bids. Anson debated in public forum for one year in high school and won the University of Texas tournament and placed third at TFA state.


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Gigi Wade

Gigi competed in Public Forum for four years at Evanston Township High School. Throughout her career, she semifinaled at Blake, championed Middleton, the Millard North Round Robin, and the Glenbrooks Round Robin, and qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice, reaching outrounds her senior year. Her individual accomplishments include top speaker at the Tournament of Champions, Mid-America Cup, Millard North, and the Glenbrooks Round Robin. Gigi will be a sophomore at Columbia University next year and she is very excited to work at NSD this summer!

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 Amala Karri

Amala is a graduating senior at Hunter College High School and serves as the president of the debate team. Over 4 years, she has amassed 9 bids and one auto-qualification to the Tournament of Champions. She has reached semifinals at Harvard and Princeton, and has finaled at UPenn and Ridge. She also received a top 5 speaker award at Harvard, Princeton, Lexington, Ridge, and UK. She attended NSD as a student for the past two years and is excited to return this summer an instructor!

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Sajan Mehrotra

Sajan Mehrotra is a graduating senior at Horace Mann School in New York. He has qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice and reached late elimination rounds at a variety of national tournaments, including quarterfinals at Bronx and Blake. In addition, he was a top 10 speaker at Bronx, Blake, and Harvard. During his junior year, he placed 14th and received an autoqual at NSDA nationals. He attended NSD last summer as a student and is excited to be back as an instructor!

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Ethan Kim

Ethan Kim is a graduating senior at Horace Mann School in New York, where he serves as a team president. He has qualified to the Tournament of Champions twice and has reached late elimination rounds at tournaments such as Columbia, Princeton, Bronx and Blake. He is also a 3-time qualifier to NSDA nationals, where he has placed as high as 14th. He attended NSD last summer as a student and is excited to be back as an instructor!


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Caden Day

Caden competed in PF for four years at Strake Jesuit. He has received 7 career bids, reaching late elimination rounds at tournaments such as Bellaire, Laird Lewis, Grapevine, Plano West, and TFA State and clearing at Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, and many other tournaments. Most notably, Caden and his partner RJ were the first team from Texas to qualify to the TOC three times in a row. Caden will be a freshman in Plan II Honors at the University of Texas at Austin next year and he is excited to work at NSD this summer.

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Cale McCrary

Cale McCrary is the head coach of Corona del Sol debate, and an assistant for the Quarry Lane and Brophy Prep debate programs. In his first two years as a coach, Cale has had multiple teams qualify to both the Tournament of Champions and NSDA Nationals, with tournament championships at the New York City Invitational, Golden Desert UNLV Tournament, and Millard North and Presentation Round Robins, and bids acquired at tournaments including The Glenbrooks, Yale Invitational, and Arizona State Invitational. Cale debated for Saint Mary’s Hall through 2016-2017, where he was consistently ranked in the top 30, with semi-final placements at TFA State & Grapevine.

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RJ Shah

RJ competed in PF for four years at Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, where he served as a co-captain his junior and senior years. He accumulated 6 bids to the TOC, while also reaching elimination rounds at Bellaire, Grapevine, Apple Valley, Glenbrooks, Sunvitational, Texas, Emory, and TFA state. Most notably, he and his partner are the first Texas PF team to have qualified for the TOC in three consecutive years. RJ will be a freshman at Duke University in the fall and is excited to join NSD this summer.

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Katherine Sylvester

Katherine has competed in PF for Walt Whitman High School for the past 4 years, where she’s currently the president of the speech & debate team. She qualified for tournaments including the TOC, NSDA Nationals, and NCFL Grand Nationals. In addition to earning many speaker awards—including top speaker at the Columbia and Georgetown University tournaments, 2nd speaker at the New York City Invitational, and 6th speaker at the Barkley Forum—Katherine advanced to late outrounds at many national tournaments, such as quarterfinals at the New York City Invitational and semifinals at Valley Mid-America Cup. She looks forward to working at NSD this summer!

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Kayla Chang

Kayla Chang attended Newton South in MA where she was a co-captain of the debate team. As a debater, she advanced to out rounds at tournaments like Princeton, GMU, Columbia, and Lex, notably octafinaling at Harvard, finaling at UPenn, and championing Massachusetts States. Kayla is currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley and has since worked as an assistant coach at the Nueva School, where her students have reached late out rounds at tournaments like the UK Season Opener and the Cal Invitational. 


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Malcolm Davis

Malcolm was co-captain of the debate team at Newton South High School in Massachusetts. As a debater, he championed the Bronx Round Robin, finished second the Harvard Round Robin, finished second at Columbia, reached semifinals of the Yale Invitational, and reached quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions. Since graduating, Malcolm has worked as an assistant coach at Strath Haven High School in Pennsylvania. Malcolm's students have championed the Bronx Round Robin, the Villiger invitational at St. Joseph's University, the Lexington Winter Invitational, and reached quarterfinals at the Tournament of Champions.


Staff from Summer 2018


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Pranav Baskar

Pranav competed in Public Forum for four years at Princeton High School. In his career, he qualified to the Tournament of Champions thrice, reaching octafinals at the tournament last year. This past year, Pranav has been ranked as high as fourth in the nation, reaching quarterfinals at the Yale Invitational and the Princeton Classic. He was also the top speaker at the New York City Invitational and at the Harvard Round Robin, and he was 6th speaker at the TOC. In his free time, Pranav enjoys solving crosswords, writing, and spending time with his friends.

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Malcolm Davis

Malcolm Davis competed for Newton South High School, where he championed the Bronx Round Robin, reached finals at the Harvard Round Robin, reached semifinals at the Yale Invitational, and reached quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions. Malcolm now coaches for Strath Haven High School in Pennsylvania, where his students have championed the Bronx Round Robin, the Villiger invitational, and the Lexington Invitational.

 

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Ozan Ergungor

Debating for Hawken High School, Ozan Ergungor won the Apple Valley Tournament, the Sunvitational, and the Barkley Forum. He was also a finalist at Blake Tournament and Stanford Invitational and a semifinalist at the Tournament of Champions. He ended his senior year ranked 1st in the country on Vbriefly. Now, Ozan coaches for Edgemont High School in New York.

 

 

Anson Fung

Anson Fung is a senior at Rice University.  He has served as the assistant PF coach for Strake Jesuit College Preparatory for 3 years.  This past year, his PF teams have accrued 10 bids to the TOC at major national tournaments such as Myers Park, Sunvite, and Barkley Forum.  Notably, his team of Pierce Hollier and Daniel Wang won the Glenbrooks tournament.  Anson debated in public forum for one year in high school and won the University of Texas tournament and placed third at TFA state.

 

Daniel Ju

Daniel Ju is currently a senior at Stuyvesant High School in NYC where he has debated for four years--serving as captain and junior varsity director as a junior and senior. Competitively, Daniel has accrued fifteen bids to the tournament of champions and was named top speaker at two major national tournaments: Princeton and Blake. He also championed the Harvard round robin and finaled at the Glenbrooks tournament and the Harvard Invitational. He is incredibly excited to share his love for debate, public speaking, and public policy with campers this summer!

Keshav Kundassery

Keshav Kundassery competed in Public Forum for 4 years at Mission San Jose High School in California where he captained the PF team. He reached the final round of the TOC, won the Harvard Round Robin, won the University of the Pacific tournament, co-championed the Presentation Invitational and Presentation Round Robin, and reached quarterfinals at the NCFL National tournament, the California State Tournament, the Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, Stanford, Harker, and the Kandi King Round Robin. He received speaker awards at the TOC, Stanford, Berkeley, and Presentation. In the 2017-18 season, he coached the Capitol debate team to nine total bids including semifinal appearances at the George Mason and Laird Lewis Invitationals. He will be going into his second year at Vanderbilt University.

 

 

 

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Eva Motolinia

Eva Motolinia attended The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she was the co-captain of the debate team. She qualified to the TOC three years in a row, won NDCA as a junior and is a recipient of the Tamar Kaplan Student of the Year Award. Eva has reached outrounds at Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, Harvard, Bronx, Penn, and others. As a senior, she took second place at her state tournament, closed out finals at The Milo Cup, qualified to NSDA nationals, and reached elimination rounds at the ToC.

 

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Elizabeth Raab

Elizabeth Raab is a senior at Horace Mann, where she serves as co-president of the debate team. She has reached octofinals at the Tournament of Champions, as well as elimination rounds at Yale, Blake, Lexington, Columbia, and Harvard, notably semifinaling at the Blake Invitational her junior year. Elizabeth will be attending Yale University in the fall.

 

 

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Celia Silver

Celia Silver competed for Princeton High School for 4 years. As a senior, she was the co-president and Public Forum captain of her team. She qualified for the TOC both her junior and senior years, and was ranked as high as 4th in the nation. She has quarterfinaled at Yale and Princeton, octafinaled at the TOC and competed in the Harvard Round Robin. She is looking forward to coaching this summer!

 

 

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Daniel Wang

Daniel Wang competed in public forum for 4 years at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Texas where he co-captained the PF program his sophomore, junior, and senior years. He obtained 6 career bids, and his accomplishments include breaking at the Tournament of Champions, reaching finals at Grapevine, quarter-finals at the Barkley Forum, semi-finals at TFA State and most notably, championing the Glenbrooks tournament. He is excited to be working at NSD this summer.

 

 

 

Max Wu

Max Wu debated for Mission San Jose HS in Fremont, California. Over his four years competing in Public Forum, he reached deep elimination rounds at almost every tournament he attended and collected a total of 13 bids. Some of his notable achievements include reaching the final round of the 2016 Tournament of Champions, championing the 2017 Harvard Round Robin, and being ranked as one of the top 10 best teams in the country in both his junior and senior year. Max will be a sophomore at the University of Chicago next year; he hopes to double major in Political Science and Philosophy, and is very excited to be working at NSD!

 

 

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Kelly Zheng

Kelly Zheng is a senior at Miramonte High School in Northern California, where she serves as a team president. Kelly has reached late elimination rounds at tournaments such as the University of the Pacific, SCU, and the UC Berkeley Invitational. Notably, she semifinaled and won first place speaker at the Berkeley Invitational and championed the SCU Invitational. Besides competing in PF, Kelly also competed in International Extemporaneous Speaking (IX). In IX, she quarterfinaled at the Berkeley Invitational, placed first at the California State Championship, and reached the Top 30 at NSDA Nationals. Kelly will be attending the University of Chicago in the fall, and until college starts, she looks forward to working with students at NSD!